You might not have seen the pictures lately, but they remain grisly, hideous and shocking.
Magician Wayne Houchin, who created some of the signature effects that have helped redefine close-up magic (Sinful, Stigmata, etc.), was burned in an incident during the taping of a TV show in the Dominican Republic. One second, Houchin’s head was down, ready to receive some sort of blessing from host Franklin Barazarte.
The next second, Wayne’s head was on fire.
A video of the incident can be seen below (WARNING: Graphic content). According to that recording, Barazarte spreads a flammable, alcohol-based cologne with his hands all over Houchin’s head — almost immediately after starting, flames spread brightly, suddenly, across Houchin’s head, face and hands as he attempted to pat them out. The incident caused first- and second-degree burns that required hospitalization in a Dominican hospital.
While Barazarte says the burning was an accident, Houchin called it an attack on his Facebook page. A Dominican judge on Tuesday ordered the arrest of Barazarte, who fled the country for business engagements in New York, according to the Associated Press. When last we heard from Wayne, he was waiting in the Dominican Republic so both men could give testimony.
The story has spread far and wide across the media. The legal ramifications will extend for weeks, months, maybe even years. Though doctors are cautiously optimistic that he will heal without scars, the incident has caused plenty of pain, hardship and expenses for Houchin and his wife.
Houchin has inspired countless magicians, including many of our customers. How many of us still use Stigmata with every gig? He has worked with some of magic’s biggest names, including Paul Harris and Criss Angel. His brand of visual, hardly-any-words magic has inspired a new level of quality in our art. We have a lot of respect and admiration for Wayne and everything he’s accomplished.
To that end, we have started a fundraising auction on eBay to support Wayne. Because Wayne is one of a kind, we decided to put some one-of-a-kind items up for bid. These are EXTREMELY rare — some of the items are prototypes — things that we pulled out of Brad’s magic closet and from Pete’s film studio. After ebay’s listing fees are paid, all of the proceeds will go straight to Wayne.
Items up for bid include (links will go live once eBay starts auction):
- ~ Masters Ace skateboard deck.
- ~ Black Ghost Joker skateboard deck.
- ~ Blue LTD prototype deck of playing cards (only sealed Blue LTD, different back design from red).
- ~ Black Artifice Apex Rare deck of playing cards.
- ~ Charcoal Black Club prototype insignia ring.
- ~ LTD uncut sheet.
- ~ Black Tiger first edition ULTRA RARE uncut sheet.
- ~ Black Artifice Apex Rare uncut sheet.
A few heads up about the auction:
- ~ The auction items are set to expire in about seven days — roughly 8 p.m. Dec. 14 PST.
- ~ We welcome international bids, but auction winners will be responsible for shipping costs and any other duties.
- ~ Winning auctions are not tax-deductible.
We’ve seen how high some of these items go for on eBay, and we hope you dig deep to push those values even more. We think we’ve put up some stuff worthy of Wayne, and we can’t wait to reward your generosity.
If you’d like to send a cash donation to Wayne without bidding in the auction, you can do so via PayPal here.